Walthamstow Wetlands Wonder


In two days time, just ten minutes from the Workshop and a stone’s throw from SIDESHOW, London’s largest urban wetland nature reserve will be opening. The brand new Walthamstow Wetlands project will  house London’s largest open spaces in the Thames Water owned reservoirs and these reservoirs supply up to a third of London’s drinking water.


The main feature of the Wetlands will be a new cafe and environmental education centre after the conversion of the derelict Victorian built Marine Engine House.

Blackhorse Workshop was approached by the council who were looking for local makers to come forward to make the servery for the new visitors centre cafe. Blackhorse member Odel Jeffries, along with the help of  Christina French and Enrique Melin, got the opportunity to take on this project with Witherford Watson Mann Architects as it’s designers and Rooff as it’s contractors.


Jeffries, used reclaimed iroko wood for the worktops to give a more aged feel to the counter, almost like it was part of the original existing building. This long counter is 4.4m and oak panelling has been used around the front and sides. The idea for this was to use the original oak panelling that had been reclaimed, however he found it challenging sourcing the amount they needed that was good enough to use, so new oak panelling was made especially and stained to match the existing panelling. All in all, creating a rather beautiful finish.


The Walthsmstow Wetlands offers a unique resource for everyone to access and for free too. The upgraded access to nature and leisure activities that the wetlands will provide, aims to enhance the health, wellbeing and quality of life for the local area and the estimated rise in the number of visitors will also lead to a exposure for visitor economy and help reinforce physical regeneration plans in the neighbouring area –  we’re  looking forward to paying a visit!

For more details on the project, visit their website: https://walthamstowwetlands.com/about-us